Prior to the Help to Grow: Management Course, Nottingham Business School (NBS) wasn’t unfamiliar to Tom. He was a member of the school during his time as a student at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and is active within the NBS alumni community: returning to deliver talks and offer mentoring to students. Furthermore, The Dairy regularly provide internships to NBS and NTU students and currently have an apprentice studying the Level 6 Digital Marketer Degree Apprenticeship. As Account Director for just over a year before the course, management skills were less familiar to Tom — his busy work schedule meant he had to develop these on the job. Tom is also a shareholder within the agency, as his boss — and The Dairy’s Managing Director, Nigel — begins to think about the future and putting a succession plan in place. Tom was keen to progress his management skills as well as his all-round business understanding.
Tom heard about the Help to Grow: Management Course through Nigel who had previously completed the course. It soon became apparent to him that the course was highly regarded and many other senior leaders within small to medium sized businesses across the country were taking part. Tom’s connection with NBS made it the obvious choice for him to build on his experiences and pick up new skills, allowing him to push onto the next stage of his career, while maintaining and growing The Dairy’s success.
It was the one-to-one mentoring within the Help to Grow: Management Course that Tom found the most beneficial. Before the course, it wasn’t often that Tom would get the chance to sit down and have a dedicated block of time to work through his problems. Mentoring allowed him to do this with an experienced figure, someone Tom felt had been through the same process. The examples and advice provided by Tom’s mentor helped him evolve as a leader and support his team through their own challenges. Notably, Tom recalls his mentor guiding him through the transition of being someone’s friend and colleague to being their manager, ensuring he was able to strike the right balance between the two.
The future direction of The Dairy and Tom’s role within it was a key reason for participating in the Help to Grow: Management Course as he starts taking on a more holistic business-focussed approach on top of his marketing and project management workload. The course provided him with a range of financial knowledge, including an understanding on profit and loss, balance sheets and financial records to ensure a business remains profitable. Additionally, Tom acquired models and studied examples he can refer to and apply to The Dairy in relation to the operational side of the agency. Tom believes that these skills and learning experiences will become increasing valuable to him and the agency in the future as his role transitions further and becomes more hands on.
The format of the Help to Grow: Management Course created a: “nice little network of people that we could bounce ideas off” says Tom. There are people that he met who he is still in contact with now — both from marketing and non-marketing businesses — who he connects with to share and solve similar problems. Marketing is Tom’s area of expertise, but the peer interaction allowed him to expand his thinking in this area through the sharing of thoughts and ideas.